The Democratic Socialists of America, on Saturday passed a resolution endorsing the BDS movement, The Intercept reported. More than 90 percent of the participants in DSA’s biennial convention in Chicago supported the resolution, according to estimates, since there was no formal tally of the votes.
This should prove interesting, in light of a March 2017 bill sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin, a leading Democrat from Maryland (S.720 – Israel Anti-Boycott Act) which declares that Congress opposes the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution of March 24, 2016, which urges countries to pressure companies to divest from, or break contracts with, Israel; and encourages full implementation of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014.
— Chicago DSA ? (@ChicagoCityDSA) August 5, 2017
Although it would be wrong to suggest that Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) is the leader of the DSA, he received the group’s enthusiastic support during the 2016 primaries, and included its honorary chair, vehement anti-Zionist Cornel West in his platform team at the DNC convention.
What would happen should Sanders actually become the DNC candidate for president come 2020, and his supporters come up against dedicated pro-Israel establishment Democrats such as Senators Cardin and Schumer? Pro-Israel Democrats probably shudder at the thought.
Benjamin Balthaser, a Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago member, who joined the DSA last year, told The Intercept it was especially important for Jews to make their voices heard against Israel, reasoning that “the Israeli government says it represents all Jews in the world, and I think it’s very important for the Jewish community to say, ‘We don’t feel represented by an apartheid government. We don’t feel represented by a military occupation.’”
Familiar stuff in the non-Orthodox portion of US Jewry, unfortunately.
For the record, when Se. Sanders was asked last May by Al Jazeera if he “respected” BDS as a legitimate protest movement, he said, “No, I don’t,” suggesting the tactic was counterproductive as a means of bringing the sides to peace talks.
He also said that while “there are many problems with Israel” and that he would continue to “be critical of a lot of what Israel does,” it is unacceptable “to see Israel attacked over and over again for human rights violations which may be true, when you have countries like Saudi Arabia or Syria, Saudi Arabia – I’m not quite sure if a woman can even drive a car today.”